We spent the past week visiting family and tying up loose ends in Michigan.
It was a week of changes and travel. We flew to a hotel in Detroit, rented a car and drove to our hometown of Midland, spent 3 days staying in a travel trailer at my father-in-law’s house, visited with my grandmas for one day, drove 3 hours to Grand Haven where we cleaned out our old sailboat, spent a rainy night tent camping on the beach, drove 3 more hours to Buchanan to visit my brother-in-law and meet my new nephew, spent one night at their house, then drove for 3 days with our friends who moved to Texas, camping along the way.
At my Weight Watchers meetings, we have talked a lot about vacations. The consensus is that these are times to maintain, or even just try to minimize the weight gain. It is perfectly okay not to track while on vacation.
This is all well and good, except that I had fallen off the wagon big time in the two weeks before we left. I gained weight at two meetings in a row. I was feeling anxious and lethargic, and I really needed to get back on track. When I eat better, I feel better.
So I tracked everything I ate on this trip, enjoyed some yummy treats, and planned ahead for each scenario we encountered. While this might not sound like fun, it actually helped me to feel better physically and mentally. I kept a level head throughout the trip and had a much higher energy level than I have in the past.
I do not weigh in until Wednesday, so we don’t know the official end result. But looking at my own scale, I lost somewhere between 2-4 pounds.
How did I have an amazing time, eat yummy food, and still lose weight? Let me tell you about each scenario and how I handled it!
Friday: Flying Out
Rob and I discussed our meal plans for the airport, ahead of time. We knew we would be eating there, since we like to give ourselves plenty of time to get through security. I looked on the airport’s website and saw that there is a Chick-Fil-A there. I had planned on ordering grilled nuggets, which are 1 point, but they did not offer them. After quickly consulting my app, I ordered a grilled chicken market salad with no dressing. This was 5 points, and it tasted amazing, even without the dressing.
For the flight, I packed my favorite 0 point snack–boiled eggs!
A quick tidbit of wisdom: If you are flying with a bag of boiled eggs, take them out of your bag when you go through security. While they are not considered liquids, the scanner identifies them as such, which can lead to having your bag searched. Of course the TSA agents found this highly amusing, as they had never encountered someone flying with a bag of eggs before!
Saturday: At the Hotel and On the Road!
We spent our first night at a hotel in Detroit, where we were treated to a continental breakfast. I enjoyed 1/4 of the gigantic waffles made by the machine, for 2 points. I also grabbed some 0 point fruit.
We then drove our rental car 3 hours to Midland, and we stopped at a grocery store on the way. I bought provisions for my favorite on-the-road lunch: sandwiches. We bought low-calorie bread (1 point per slice), light mayo (1 point per tablespoon), 98% fat free turkey lunch meat (0 points for 3 slices, 1 point for a full serving), and water. I also grabbed some fruit, fat-free cheese, Greek yogurt, and ranch mix to use once we reached our destination.
Saturday Night and Sunday: Visiting and Cooking Collaboratively
We arrived at my father-in-law’s house in time for dinner, which was sloppy joes. My stepmother-in-law and I always prepare meals together when I visit, so using the substitutions I brought was not a problem. (I do have a rule that I will eat anything that is homemade when visiting, because cooking is an act of love). I used my low-calorie bread and kept my sandwich open-faced. Ground beef is 4 points, sloppy joe sauce is 1 point, and the bread was one point. I had been conservative in my point values, so I also had enough points to enjoy some 4 point potato salad!
My stepmother-in-law keeps a fruit bowl in her kitchen, and she said we were welcome to munch on it during our stay. Whenever I was hungry, I nibbled on grapes. We planned breakfast together and ended up having French toast (made with my low-calorie bread, so it was 1 point per slice) with homemade strawberry syrup (I made mine without sugar, so it was 0 points), and sausage (3 points). The next morning, we had scrambled eggs (I used fat free cheese in mine, so they were 0 points) and sausage.
Lunch was, of course, sandwiches, and we went out for pizza on Sunday. This may seem like an impossible situation, but I had one slice of pizza, which I ate mindfully and thoroughly enjoyed. Then I finished my meal with a salad with no dressing.
Monday: Conquering the Chinese Buffet!
I treated myself to an early-morning yoga class on Monday. This got me some exercise, which I had been lacking, and helped me to stay positive and energized!
After having eggs for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch, we headed off to visit my grandmas. We spent a lovely time with my grandma Eileen at her house, then went to do some work at my grandma Misty’s house. (Her real name is Elaine, but I called her grandma Misty as a child, because I got my two grandma’s names mixed up. Fun fact: “Elaine” and “Eileen” are both variants of “Iliana”!)
When we moved to Texas, we left some items behind, and they eventually ended up my grandma’s garage. Our mission on this trip was to remove these items and drive them back to Texas in my father-in-law’s truck, which we were borrowing.
But before we set to work, we needed to eat. And we have a long-standing tradition of eating at Chinese buffets with my grandma and my Aunt Anne.
Yikes, right? Nope. Yum!
I began with hot and sour soup, for 3 points. Then I loaded up on 0 point shrimp and vegetables. I decided to have small servings and sesame chicken and General Tso’s chicken for 3-ish points, then used the rest of my points on Szechuan chicken (7-ish points) and half of an egg roll (3 points). I left feeling full and satisfied, without going over on my daily points!
Tuesday: Rainy, Yucky, and Stressful!
Then Tuesday happened. After a healthy breakfast of eggs and sausage, we drove to Grand Haven to work on Moonraker, our old boat. In the summer of 2012, we had sailed Moonraker from Bay City, on Lake Huron, to Grand Haven, on Lake Michigan. We had dry docked the boat with the mast down, planning on beginning the Great Loop the next summer. However, we moved to Texas instead, and the boat has been dry docked ever since.
We were determined to make this our last “working” trip to Michigan, so that meant that we had one day to empty and clean the boat, so that we could make arrangements for the marina to broker it.
The good news: The boat was in remarkably good shape.
The bad news: It was yucky and rainy all day.
I had hoped to make it to a yin yoga class in Grand Haven that evening, but the traffic we encountered on our trip to the store made that impossible. We finished at 6:30 on the dot. I had thought that the office closed at 6:30, but they actually closed at 6. So we weren’t able to sign over the title. We will do that by mail.
That evening we headed to our wet campsite on the beach. I had made reservations when the forecast looked good, or otherwise, we would have stayed at a hotel. We had found a tent in my grandma’s garage, which she said we could have. The stakes did not take hold in the sand, so it drooped.
That evening I was hangry! Grand Haven was supposed to be the high point of our trip, and it was nothing but yuck. We were not really able to enjoy one of our favorite port towns, from our sailing trip.
I didn’t make sandwiches for dinner. I went to Subway.
Did I order a salad? A low-fat sub?
I got myself a pizza. With extra cheese. And not fat free cheese either. Rob and I split a large bottle of wine.
And I tracked none of it.
Iliana, however, had a great time. She played with the other kids in the campground and loved the sand. We saw a lovely sunset over the water and watched the musical fountain, which had been a mainstay of our week on the seawall in Moonraker.
Wednesday: Visiting my Foodie Brother-in-Law
Wednesday is supposed to be my weigh-in day, and I had found a meeting near my brother-in-law’s house in Buchanan. If we broke camp at 6 am, I could make it.
We broke camp at 8:30.
So I had no idea how much damage I had done, but my weekly points had reset. I carefully chose a breakfast sandwich from Subway, tracked the points, and enjoyed the drive to Buchanan.
After finally meeting my 7 month old nephew, Will, we discussed our plans for the day. We decided to make our own wraps before heading to a winery. We were treated to a tasting, before settling on the most wonderful, caramelly tasting Pinot Grigio I have ever experienced.
Then we returned home for dinner and my brother-in-law made us very large, very delicious steaks, with mashed potatoes. I finished a portion much larger than a deck of cards and enjoyed every bite.
Breakfast was the most wonderful biscuits and gravy that I have ever eaten, along with hash brown potatoes. And orange juice.
By the time we left that morning, I had 0 weekly points remaining. Yes, I ate them all in one day! (And if the truth be told, I actually went into the negative by 18!) I have no regrets.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: Road Trip!
After eating that breakfast, we hit the road, so we could meet up with our friends who were moving to Texas. I bought fruit and boiled eggs for snacks (both are 0 points), and we ate sandwiches for lunch.
We camped in the evening and grilled turkey hot dogs (2 points) over the fire. Breakfast was fruit over Greek yogurt, and I added a salad with my lunch that day.
Lots of water, lots of salad and sandwiches, and lots of fruit and boiled eggs. Every morning, we stopped at the grocery store before we left.
Friday night, we stayed at a campground with a fitness center. I stepped on the scale in the evening, when I was full of water weight, and saw that I had lost 2 pounds! I am excited to see how I do at my weigh-in on Wednesday!